For years we’ve spoken and listened to the anger, hurt and disappointment with their mothers many women gave vent to in the early days of the women’s movement. Now we seem to be entering a real time of healing and appreciation, certainly judging from the articles we’ve been seeing at LILITH’s copy meetings. Women are writing with what feels like a new maturity, from the perspectives of both mothers and daughters, as each group — and each individual — learns to respect the diverse choices made by others.
Many of the articles in this issue of LILITH reflect women’s concern with relations between the generations. In the “Don’t Blame Mother” department (and that’s also the title of a very interesting new book by Paula J. Caplan), we have here three “valentines” to mothers, including one by Carol Tavris, the psychologist whose earlier writing explored the emotion of anger. Although Hannah Kliger and Mary Cahn Schwartz (in her third appearance in LILITH) start out on other subjects, they too end up talking about how their mothers have modeled behavior for them.
Intergenerational issues were on my mind recently in a more public way as well, notably at April’s historic march for “Women’s Rights and Women’s Lives” in Washington, DC, where many of the half-million participants carried signs saying “I am here for my mother too!’ I loved having my sixteen-year-old daughter Rachel along (shown here with me as we’re bundled up against the cold) and my son Benjamin and his male college friends.
There were numerous Jewish women’s groups represented on the march, including some who in the mid-1970’s had a hard time putting their membership clout behind national women’s issues, out of fear of alienating many of their members. Not so now. Jewish women of every political persuasion marched under banners for Hadassah, ORT, National Council of Jewish Women and — spotted by LILITH Associate Editor Diana Bletter — a group of women rabbinical students under the rubric of the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary with their kippot and their ideals all in place.
Politics of a different sort comes through in the translations of Israeli fiction by women writing in Hebrew, women who have never been accessible to English-speaking audiences before. The news is that, for women in Israel, as elsewhere, the personal is the political, and they tell us just how this works in two delightful and moving stories.
With this issue we welcome to LILITH’s masthead Myra Sklarew as Poetry Editor. Beginning this July, Myra will be considering poetry submissions to run in the next four issues of LILITH.
Other important news: the magazine — bringing you articles and news you’ll get nowhere else — needs your support urgently. Please remember to give gift subscriptions now and a tax-deductible contribution when you receive our appeal in the mail.